Reality Skimming

Reality Skimming

Reality Skimming promotes optimistic SF -- stories that inspire us to fight the good fight for another day. Committment to larger projects, the writer's sense of mission, joy of reading, the creative campfire of the SF community and the love of deserving protagonists are celebrated. We believe in heroes and striving to be what we believe in. It is also a news hub for content related to the Okal Rel Saga written by Lynda Williams.

28Jun/14Off

June 28, 2014 – Okal Rel Quote

June 28, 2014 - Okal Rel Quote

June 28, 2014 - Okal Rel Quote

19Feb/14Off

Feb 19, 2014 – Okal Rel Quote

Feb 19, 2014 - Okal Rel Quote

Okal Rel science fiction books - Princess Dela coping in her lover's world

Writer-daughter Jennifer Lott's 2013 Xmas gift to Lynda Williams was an Okal Rel quote of the day stack for 2014, featuring intriguing snapshots of the ORU adventure from all titles in the series: Saga, Legacies and online.

From web novella Meet the Relatives by Lynda Williams.

Dela started forward, and was held back by that iron hand, again, on her elbow.

"Distract him," Sert whispered, "and I'll kill you."

Dela was cowed by the other woman's man-like powers. She was no match for Sert in a physical confrontation!

She wished she could reverse their situations. She'd like to see how good Sert was with interior design or planning royal Demish receptions!

Feb 19, 2014 - Okal Rel Quote

Feb 19, 2014 - Okal Rel Quote. Princess Dela copes with unexpected problems when she visits her lover's relatives.

Commentary

When Dela joins her very Vrellish paramour, Vras, to meet his relatives, she isn't prepared for a life and death duel.

17May/13Off

Meet The Relatives – Post 14

Vras finds arguments harder than fighting

Meet The Relatives by Lynda Williams, is the touching story of very Demish Dela's adventures in Red Reach. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.

Vras finds arguments harder than fighting.

<< Start at Beginning >>


The ugly Chief Stationer was thrust forward.

 

"So these spoils Fital promised to share with you," Vras said giddily, and pulled free of Dela's support to stand alone.  "Would those be highborn children?  Kidnapped, perhaps?  Or raid spoils?  Children that clans with more ambition than honor would pay Fital for?"

Frog's lower lip stiffened, stubbornly.  "I never said so."

Vras rolled his eyes. 

One of his nobleborns — bless her! — said, "Highness, you need that wound bound."

Vras sank down cross-legged where he was, putting out a shaking hand to Dela.

She joined him, half afraid someone would produce a seamer — a merciless first aid tool used on highborns — but they did, literally, bind up the wound, annoying him by covering his perfectly functional right eye in the process.  Sert brought him a drink and stood guard.  The locals settled around him in clumps.

Frog tried to desert and was hauled up short. 

Arguing broke out.

Vras seemed less willing to cope with it than he'd been to fight.  He settled with his bloody head in her lap.

"Dela," he said, looking up.

"Vras?" she asked, finding a rare, bloodless curl of back hair to touch. 

"You're Demish.  You sort it out."

"I'm no good at this part," he said, simply.  "You're Demish.  You sort it out."

She squeaked at him.  "Pardon?"

He closed his eyes and relaxed, one hand curled around her thigh, high up.

 

She said, more faintly, "Vras?"

"What is she to you that we should accept her as your voice?" asked the local highborn, sounding disinclined to be civilized.  "A trophy from the Demish for beating them at courtly tournaments?"

He said it so disdainfully, that Dela suspected it was some sort of insult.  Perhaps they thought tournaments were sissy stuff.

Then she forgot everything, because Vras stirred himself just long enough to answer, and said, "She's my mekan'st."

And they swallow the fact, just like that.  Even Sert raised no objection.

A few dozen pairs of eyes turned on Dela, expectantly.

Alright, she thought.  Okay.  We've got some half-exposed conspirators in a flesh-bartering business, hostages being held by an implicated stationer chief, and everybody ready to clear swords if I screw up.  She sucked in her lips, wet them, and released them in a sigh heaved up from the bottom of her heart.

No problem.  After all, how much harder could that be than arranging the seating plan for the Royal Wedding a month before at court?

Vras had called her his mekan'st.  That was as close to being married as the Vrellish got.

Hell.

She could get out and walk home if he asked.

THE END

Vras finds arguments harder than fighting

10May/13Off

Meet the Relatives – Post 13

A flap of skin hung loose, including some eyebrow.

A flap of skin hung loose, including some eyebrow.

Meet The Relatives by Lynda Williams, is the touching story of very Demish Dela's adventures in Red Reach. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.

Dela is frantic with fear for Vras

<< Start at Beginning >>


Vras reared up, the right side of his face shining crimson, and caught Dela’s nearest arm as she shied back.

 

"Dela," he said, wincing, "not so loud."

"Vras!  Oh Vras!  Did she get you anywhere else, too?"

Her hands flew over his precious body afraid to find a big wet hole.  He took it all wrong.

Grinning, teeth reddened, he bore her down in a bloody embrace that pinned her to the floor.  Her heels banged, once, resisting in fear he was doing himself harm.  Then she realized she could feel his heart against her own chest, sound and whole, and she kissed him back despite the taste of fresh blood.

As he let her up, he murmured fondly, "My insatiable."

Me?  Dela thought, baffled.

Vras sat up, legs crossed.

Dela kept her teeth clenched again nausea as she stopped him fingering his head wound, saying, "Let me look."

A flap of skin hung loose, including some eyebrow.  She suspected Fital's sword tip had chipped bone.  Just a little lower and — Dela fought to quell the fluttering in her stomach at the very thought of a sword passing through her lover's eye.  This was bad enough.  Quite bad enough!

A flap of skin hung loose, including some eyebrow.

The wound was ragged at the edges: less sliced than torn.  But the weapon had cut.  "I th-thought you said s-swords weren't sharp," she stuttered.

"Well, for the two-thirds near the hilt." Vras, corrected.

Dela gingerly fingered the loose skin flap.  "W-we'll have to … to stick it back on," she said.

Vras batted her away and swiped with his arm at the sheet of blood flowing down the right side of his face.

Dela felt dreadfully helpless.  There was blood on her hands and blood growing sticky on her breasts where Vras had pressed against her.  She wanted to cry and she wanted to hit him.  But she wanted him saved most of all.  It seemed impossible there could be so much blood without danger.  That was how Demish heroes died after duels: bleeding in their lady's arms. It didn't seem at all romantic to her anymore.

Without warning, Vras stood up.  It wasn't such a good move.  He lurched sideways into Dela as she sprang to catch him.   But there were others there to help her, now:  four of Vras' nobleborns and one highborn Dela had never met, who'd watched the duel.

"There are still questions unanswered," said the highborn.  "Questions Red Hearth has won the right to pursue."

Vras nodded.  "Get me Frog."

Dela thought, Vras, you're bleeding! But she bit her lip.  He had to know that!

But this was too stupid!  You were supposed to hold the hearings before the duel!

A flap of skin hung loose, including some eyebrow.

A flap of skin hung loose, including some eyebrow.

3May/13Off

Meet the Relatives – Post 12

Dela reared up on her knees, a fist crammed in her mouth.

Meet The Relatives by Lynda Williams, is the touching story of very Demish Dela's adventures in Red Reach. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.

Fital and Vras fight to the death.

<< Start at Beginning >>


Vras and Fital faced off. She was older. In a highborn, that just meant more experienced. She was long boned and hard muscled. No less capable of fighting than a man was. Some Demish men claimed Vrellish women were more dangerous than their men.

Dela hoped that was a viscous slander.

Someone tugged at her arm. It was just the child, again. A commoner. Clean faced, bold, and clear eyed.

The girl tipped her head towards a mat, a safe distance back off the challenge floor, from which a woman beckoned.

Dela let herself be guided by the wise suggestion. It was only a few steps. She got there, and sunk between two commoners. The child and her mother. They put their arms about her. An act impossibly familiar! But she was glad.

The duel went fast. Which was good, because Dela could not breath while watching the quick, Vrellish fighters on the challenge floor. Vras rebounded off an attack Dela thought would be fatal, whipped sideways and lunged as Fital spun around. Dela saw him jerk his head aside. Fital's sword glanced off his skull.

Fital's sword glanced off his skull.

Dela would have screamed, but all her breath was gone.

Both fighters pitched to the challenge floor.

Dela reared up on her knees, a fist crammed in her mouth.

There was an arm's length of sword sticking out of a half naked back.

Fital's!

Vras still had hold of the hilt. That had cost him his balance when she went down.

But he wasn't moving, either, and there was so much blood!

Dela pleaded with her body to move. But it wouldn't. If he was dead, she did not want to find out.

The hush was shattered by an explosion of motion as a woman tore free of the wedge of Frog's supporters to throw herself upon the wounded nobleborn still under Sert's protection.

Sert was smiling.

That gave Dela hope.

Galvanized, Dela scrambled up, shedding the grip of the girl who'd adopted her, and plunged across the empty challenge floor to drop beside Vras, hauling Fital's body clear as if it was nothing more frightful than a grain sack.

"Vras!" Dela's hands fluttered over him, afraid to touch. Afraid not to do something, fast.

There was blood in his hair. On his naked chest. On the floor. "Vras!" she wailed, hysterical.

Dela reared up on her knees, a fist crammed in her mouth.

26Apr/13Off

Meet The Relatives – Post 11

Meet the relatives  #11

Challenge

Meet The Relatives by Lynda Williams, is the touching story of very Demish Dela's adventures in Red Reach. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.

Fital’s dirty secret gets out.

<< Start at Beginning >>


Fital looked Vras up and down, ignoring Frog.  "You've grown since I last saw you," she drawled, invoking a murmur from the listeners at her choice of a masculine pronoun.  "In fact, you're old enough, I'd say, that we ought to be working on curing you of your poor taste." Her glance flicked towards Dela and her supporters took up the suggestion, pointing, as she folded her well muscled arms.  “Liege Vrel will thank me more for that, I'm sure, than sending you home dead."

"Answer the question, Fital," Vras Vrel asked again, denying male-female address.  "And we will see about the rest after, if you've done nothing dishonorable."

"Vras," Fital sneered.  "You're not going to be tediously righteous are you?"

"Tell me what deal you made!" Vras exclaimed, excited.

Someone broke ranks among Fital's vassals.  "She's selling children!" he shouted.  "Highborn orphans!  For drugs!"

Vras said, simply, "Challenge."

Fital's sword cleared.  The whistle-blower among her followers went white as he tried to back away from her onto the challenge floor.  She sprang.  He stumbled.  A woman screamed.  Blood sprang from the betrayer's arm as he went down.  But the next instant Sert was there, blocking Fital's killing stroke.  People shuffled, taking sides or blocking exits.

And then it was silent.

Vras said, simply, "Challenge."

Sert stood her ground.

No one moved.

Fital glared at the traitor on the floor, but the odds would be against her if the twins and Harn teamed up.  And the highborn with her had failed to join her on the challenge floor.  Fital looked hatred at the representatives of Red Hearth, and cast a look of disgust at her own, shirking kinsman who had failed to back her up.

Then Fital abandoned revenge, forgot Sert, and stepped out onto the challenge floor, sword drawn.

Demish champions had seconds who checked for dishonorable body armor beneath an opponent's clothes.  The Vrellish fought, instead, with skin exposed.

Vras shed his red vest.  Fital shrugged out of a long, decorative vest studded in braid and small devices.

Someone whispered beside Dela, in a child's voice, "See those trophy icons?  They're for the highborns she's killed, before, in duels."

Dela's could not look down.  Her eyes were riveted on Vras and Fital.

This was going too fast!

Meet the relatives  #11

Challenge